Self-forgiveness is the first step to reconciliation–to love others, you must love yourself. This is a reoccurring theme in Ken Brown’s Balance 2.1, a weaving of two interconnected possessive narratives between a father and a daughter. The former of the two is off at sea while his daughter remains in her family home. Both are in need of one another’s forgiveness, but are geographically separated – and so, firstly, both parties are forced to work things out within themselves.
Balance 2.1, although feverishly cerebral and intelligent, lacks a spread of aspects that help support theatre. It’s lacking character development, realism, and a forefront focus. It can be understood that the piece is meant to be one sided, meaning one of the two leads has a dynamic projection – however, the balance is lopsided, and at times, too “yelly”.
But Balance 2.1’s reconciliation is its originality. I truly haven’t seen anything quite like it. And that, in itself, makes this play worth remembering.
The best part about lone travel is also the worst, which is a perfect environment for a self-reflective piece of performance art.
That’s just what The Traveler articulates. The internal battle of right and wrong, one path from the other – growth and change, these are themes that are quite evident in this play. Max Kashetsky, the lead and only role, delivers an hour long, almost flawless monologue depicting life on the lone road, and the challenges you face when you go looking for something “raw”. The script is beautifully written. Wonderfully romantic, but also cerebral – this play is captivating. Instead of a soundtrack or cued transitory recorded tracks, Kashetsky brings his own acoustic guitar and harmonica to the narrative – bringing an intimate dynamic of a broken-hearted bar show. Feelings elicited by this performance, are accompanied by the acoustic melodies, and delivered almost instantly to the audience. The Traveler is also a little vague, and that’s okay, for travel is intrepid. Nothing is of solid state, everything is changing – and nothing is ever the same.